Lean Farm Start-Up in Chicago, Oct. 26

1-Day Intensive Workshop at The Talking Farm


SIGN UP FOR THIS EVENT IS THROUGH THE TALKING FARM (Chicago). Space is limited to 30 participants. Our previous workshops have sold out, so please sign up early if you are interested. SIGN UP HERE

An exclusive one-day intensive with Ben Hartman, author of The Lean Farm, at The Talking Farm, Skokie, IL (Chicago). Price is $250. Sign up for this workshop and receive

—1 day of training in efficient growing techniques and lean farm set-up, especially for urban start-up market growers or anyone wanting to lean up their farm

“The amount of information I received from this workshop is amazing. Ben is a wonderful teacher, sharing all his knowledge from his years of farming. This course has shaved 10 years off my new farm startup.” —Jeremy Callahan, 2018 Lean Farm Start-up student

“If you are looking to make a good living as a small scale farmer while still maintaining a balanced lifestyle, look no further. Ben does an amazing job of laying out how to make that possible by using lean techniques.”—Ian Beger, 2019 Lean Farm Start-up student

When: Oct. 26, 2019, 8:30-4:30 pm

Location: The Talking Farm, 3669 Howard Street, Skokie, IL 60057

Description: In 2017 we bought a large urban lot, sold our rural farm of 10 years, and started building a brand new farm, including a barn-house and a state of the art greenhouse. Our inspirations were the "connected" farms of new England, Japanese market farms, and the "Hof" that Ben's German ancestors used as a house and an animal barn.

In this course you will learn about the five lean design principles we used, and learn smooth flow principles to lean up your existing farm or build a new one. I will cover how to build lean greenhouses, processing rooms, propagation houses, wash-pack rooms, and more.

Better design = happier farmers and more profitable farms! Course includes catered lunch. Meet your production and sales goals and still have time for family and friends. CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP.

Ben leading workshops at Ray and Ashley Tyler's Rose Creek Farms in Selmer, TN, in 2017

Who we are...

Clay Bottom Farm is located in northern Indiana. The farm's owners, Ben Hartman and Rachel Hershberger, grow specialty vegetables on less than one acre of land, and the farm has twice won Edible Michiana's Reader's Choice Award.

Ben is the author of the The Lean Farm (winner of the Shingo Prize) and The Lean Farm Guide to Growing Vegetables, and in 2017 was appointed to the Grist 50, a list of emerging green leaders in the United States. 


The Lean Farm Online Course

Ben Hartman, author of The Lean Farm, is the nation's leading expert on lean systems thinking applied to the farm, and Clay Bottom Farm is recognized internationally for its sustainable and profitable farming model. Join our growing list of students in our lean farm school online course.

What makes our course unique?

This is the only online farming course teaching the art and skill of market farming using the lean system, a Japanese invention to reduce waste, so that you hit the ground running with your farm start-up.

Your time is valuable so our courses are full of summary sheets and slides so you learn fast and have the info you need at your fingertips.

  • To enter into farming as a career is no small decision. It involves a lot of risk and a lot of commitment--for the farmer and for family members. Success is about details and, yes, hard work. Our online courses gives you precise information--about spacings, varieties, timing, and must-have tools--so that you remove risk at the start of your farm career.


What others are saying

Ben Hartman’s mindset and approach to lean farming is really important for all farmers to learn and understand—from beginners to veterans, on both small scale and large scale farms alike. Not only is Ben a good educator, but he is a kind soul. And the world needs more kind souls!
— Ray Tyler, Rose Creek Farms
Ben Hartman is a true innovator for the small farm.
— Curtis Stone
Farming is not JUST a business, but it’s still a business, and Hartman’s application of Toyota’s efficiency principles to the farm is nothing short of profound.
— Joel Salatin
Everyone strives for efficiency in vegetable farming, but Ben Hartman has actually achieved it.
— Lynn Byczynscki, author of Market Farming Success and founder of Growing for Market magazine
Ben Hartman is diversified farming’s Dean of Lean. He walks the talk ... Lean is the epitome of efficiency an essential ingredient of any successful farm.
— Richard Wiswall

Calendar of Events

  • June 22-23, 2019, Lean Farm Design: 2-day Intensive Course at Clay Bottom FarmSOLD OUT
  • Ocotber 26, 2019: 1-day Intensive Lean Farm and Cutting Edge Tools Training in Chicago, IL (SIGN UP ABOVE)
  • Dec 10-12, 2019, Grand Rapids, MI, Greenhouse management and lean farm training, Great Lakes EXPO, Michigan State University
  • **Jan 2020, speaking tour in England (Real Farming Conference, Oxford)